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Destination: Denver in ’08

Alisa Roth Jan 12, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: The Democratic Party has decided to go with Denver for its 2008 National Convention instead of New York. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg probably won’t lose any sleep. He hasn’t exactly been rah-rahing for this. Alisa Roth looks at why that might be.

ALISA ROTH: To win a national party convention, a host city needs more than lots of hotel rooms and solid infrastructure: It has to raise about $55 million.

HENRY MILLER: Most of the costs are borne by the private sector.

Henry Miller organized the 1992 Democratic National Convention in New York. He says that doesn’t include the cost of security, but most of that bill is footed by the federal government.

Miller concedes that $55 million is a lot of cash. But, he says . . .

MILLER: Any city that gets the convention wins.

That’s because a political convention can generate hundreds of millions in economic activity, which also means added tax revenue.

And he says, the promotional value of being in the spotlight for 10-days is pretty much priceless. So with all those possible benefits, why did Mayor Bloomberg even question the wisdom of bidding for the convention?

MILLER: His concern is really competing efforts for private money, rather than public money.

Among other things, Bloomberg is worried about financing the World Trade Center Memorial.

In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.

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